Cyber Wednesday Produces Peak E-Sales

Online sales data show that Tuesday and Wednesday are bigger shopping days on the Internet than Monday. The latest Chase Paymentech “Pulse Index,” which tracks e-merchants, found that overall online sales are running 30% above last year levels. On “Cyber Monday,” November 26th, sales volume for the 10 retail Web sites tracked by the “Index” hit $104.8 million. But, online sales volume rose to $134 million on Wednesday November 28th, an all-time high in the three-year history of the “Index.” However, sales fell to $113.4 million on Thursday, November 29th and declined until Monday, December 3rd. Chase Paymentech says the biggest online sales day will likely come December 18th-20th. The “Index” tracks an average of one million payment transactions each day. The “Index” also provides comparative data from 2006 and 2005 to provide a perspective on how consumer shopping habits are evolving from year to year. The 2006 holiday season saw a “Pulse Index” total of $3.262 billion in net sales tracked, with a single-day high of $118.8 million set on December 15th, 2006.

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BofA Set to Distribute AmEx Gift Cards

American Express “Gift Cards” are set to take-off next week when participating Bank of America retail banking centers begin offering the cards. American Express “Gift Cards” in $25, $50, and $100 denominations will be available via BofA by December 10th. AmEx gift cards are currently available at more than 65,000 locations nationwide. AmEx is the nation’s largest issuer of open gift cards, and sold more gift cards last year than in all prior years combined since the introduction of its gift card product in 2002. In June, General Growth Properties became the first shopping center developer and management company to offer a line of themed “American Express Gift Cards” for special occasions. In October, AmEx launched a new line of customizable gift cards. (CF Library 6/15/07; 10/21/07)

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GE Money & National Payment Card Partner

FL-based decoupled ACH debit card provider National Payment Card and GE Money Partnership Marketing Group have established a relationship that links National Payment Card’s ACH-based alternate payment system with the GE Motor Club. Participating merchants benefit from increased enrollment in the National Payment Card system resulting in lower credit card processing fees and greater consumer loyalty with the combination of these two programs. National Payment Card uses the lower-cost Automated Clearing House Network to process payments, charging a flat-rate fee per transaction, resulting in reduced processing fees. Consumers who enroll in the National Payment Card driver’s license program, a related affinity or loyalty program will receive an immediate price discount at the pump on every gallon of gas. Consumers will also have the opportunity to enroll in a free 90-day trial of the GE Motor Club with benefits that include free towing, free lockout service, fuel delivery, flat tire and jump start services.

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Hitachi Consulting & Paymetric Form Alliance

Hitachi Consulting has entered in an alliance with payment card software provider Paymetric to deliver packaged card acceptance and purchasing card integration solutions for SAP payments. For companies managing customer relationships using SAP CRM, the packaged solution blends “XiPay”, Paymetric’s SAP-certified card acceptance software with Hitachi Consulting’s knowledge in SAP CRM integrations. “XiPay” enables companies to seamlessly accept, manage, and protect credit card transactions within the framework of SAP-enabled business processes and workflows. The alliance also offers a packaged solution for streamlining procure-to-pay processes in SAP. Companies can leverage Hitachi Consulting’s SAP knowledge to implement Paymetric’s XiBuy, a certified SAP add-on solution for managing and integrating purchasing card transactions in SAP.

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CO-OP Financial Opens a Fraud Service Center

CO-OP Financial Services has established a new “Fraud Service Center” with 20 analysts to research and service only CO-OP client cases. The new Center was created to specifically focus on CO-OP credit unions that use “Falcon Fraud Manager”, a neural network technology that examines signature and PIN debit transactions. The neural network uses complex mathematical models and predictive software to analyze member payment data. CO-OP’s analysts are specially trained to continuously monitor this data, identify potential trends and take corrective action to reduce fraud-related losses.

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PAYMATE USA

Paymate has announced that it will be embarking on the potential of the
North American mobile phone market with its mobile remittance solution.
With this, the company will be providing the primarily unbanked American
population, nearly 13% of the total population, with the ability to
transfer
and receive payments through their mobile phone network. This expansion
will be under the guidance of Paymate’s newly appointed Vice President
of Americas, Mr. Dhruv Singh, who will lead the growth initiatives.
Remittance across national borders is expected to reach $300B this year
around the world, with residents of North America initiating the largest
volume. Meanwhile India, Mexico, and the Philippines are the Top 3
destination countries for these remittances. PayMate is accepted by over
3000 merchants in India for various payment methods and has been
awarded “Asia’s Top 100 start-ups” two years in a row by Red Herring.

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VCT Certified for AmEx Blue Box Products

Card manufacture Versatile Card Technology has been certified by American Express Global Network Services to manufacture the American Express “Blue Box” line of card products. In order to receive this certification from American Express, VCT has shown they share a core set of attributes including a commitment to high standards of customer service, strong marketing expertise, affinity with the American Express brand image of quality security and trust. This certification will allow VCT to manufacture cards for American Express partners that include major banks, airlines, retailers, and associations. VCT is a global plastic card manufacturer.

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ASSA ABLOY EXEC

ASSA ABLOY Identification Technologies (ITG) has appointed Perry
M. Garvis as the Director of Product Marketing for Contactless
Payment to oversee the organization’s global contactless payments.
In doing so, Garvis will market the ITG contactless prelaminates, cards,
transponders, readers and OEM reader modules having to do with the
payments sector. Garvis has over 30 years experience in marketing and
sales of RFID, security and wireless technologies with such companies as
Motorola and GE Interlogix. Most recently, Garvis was employed with
Texas Instruments as the Director of National Accounts Contactless
Payments and RFID Systems. ITG employs over 1100 employees out of
its 25 offices on all continents with headquarters in Walluf , Germany.

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CU 24’s CU HERE Network Adds Allpoint

Credit Union 24 has added the Allpoint network to Credit Union 24’s CU HERE surcharge-free program. The Allpoint ATMs will be a part of the CU HERE Premium program. The combined network will provide credit unions with more than 45,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Credit Union 24 will defray the costs of the Allpoint surcharge-free ATMs during the first year of the program. The expanded CU HERE network will take effect in February 2008. Credit Union 24 participants can opt-in to the CU HERE Premium program beginning in January.

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PLANET PAYMENT & PERSAY

Planet Payment has chosen the PerSay biometric banking solution to
provide customers with its “BuyVoice” solution. “BuyVoice” provides
merchants across financial and retail sectors to market and sell to
customers
using mobile voice authentication. Additionally, PerSay’s “Shop BuyVoice”
allows these customers to shop using their voice through any mobile phone
and is soon to develop a solution that requires no more than a voiceprint,
payment details and delivery information for complete mobile shopping. The
“BuyVoice” biometric technologies allows for individual customer
verification
based on the fact that each person’s voice is as individual as a
fingerprint.
Planet Payment is a payment and data processor while PerSay provides
biometric speaker and verification products.

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India’s PayMate Eyes U.S. M-Payments Market

India’s top mobile payments company has decided to enter the North American market. PayMate has built a network of more than 3,000 merchants in India. The Company earlier this year teamed with Infonox for the delivery of diversified financial services to kiosks, ATMs and other delivery channels. The alliance will enable PayMate to have the instant ability to offer their branded transaction services on cell phones across North America. PayMate North America will be headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. Dhruv Singh, Vice President of Americas, will head the U.S. headquarters. PayMate is funded by Silicon Valley based Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures.

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PAGO ETRANSACTIONS

Pago eTransactions Services has extended its settlement currencies to
include settlements with Scandinavian currencies, the Norwegian,
Swedish and Danish Crowns, the Polish Zloty and the Canadian Dollar.
The acquirer and payment service provider allows merchants to choose
their respective currency to appeal to a wider customer base with this
integration of card acquiring and payment processing. Other currencies
that are accepted over the organization’s channels include Euros, Pound
Sterling, Swiss Franks, South African Rand and US Dollars. Pago is a
VISA and MasterCard acquirer operating across Europe allowing its
clients to receive payments for goods and services through its electronic
channels. Pago operates over 6,000 online-shop solutions and
transactions from about 6,500 terminals over its “Pago Platform”.

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